article by: Bill Lyons

An HTML page consists of an individual file for each website page. With HTML, you must type all the code by hand (ideally) or use an editor such as Dreamweaver (usually resulting in sloppy code that is difficult to edit). To make updates to an HTML page, you must edit the file on your computer and then upload it using an FTP client. You create interactivity by integrating jquery, php, javascript etc. which you would either write yourself or obtain from an online vendor or script repository. In short, creating HTML requires a fair amount of technical knowledge and each page must be updated individually, which could be very time consuming for a large site.

A WordPress site can be setup and operated without knowing HTML or any scripting languages. WordPress uses an online control panel to allow the operator to create and edit new pages and blog posts (among other functions) easily through a simple text editor. Creating an original, custom design still requires HTML and CSS knowledge, but you can also download pre-made design templates to style your site that require very little or no HTML/CSS skills to implement. Additionally, WordPress is a modular system, which means new functionality (such as forms, interactivity, photo galleries) can be added easily by installing and configuring plugins. WordPress uses a database to store all of the website content separately from the design/layout, which means that you can redesign a site quickly without recoding or inserting the existing content.

I recommend using WordPress (or the CMS of your choice) if you don’t have a great deal of HTML/CSS knowledge, or if your website contains many pages. Even for HTML pros, WordPress offers a simple and speedy way to make changes or additions to a website. At this point in time, I think it’s unwise to create a large website (with many pages) in HTML because it’s simply more time consuming than using a CMS such as WordPress. New functionality can also be added quickly, and you can completely redesign your website simply by editing the style sheet or installing a new Theme.

I find it hard to come up with any real advantages to using HTML over a CMS like WordPress unless your website is very simple and has few pages.

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